Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Thursday. 5th. CFA Thursday. 5th. CFA
Thursday. 5th.

The weather continues mild. I went to the Office. Received an apologizing letter from Mr. Hallett,1 returning me the draught with a request I would remodel it. I replied very briefly declining to do so, in this stage of the business and intimating to him in reply my utter dissatisfaction with his proceeding.2 In his letter, he says both draughts were read to the Committee, and with the State Committee present. Now this was totally against my will, but what is more singular Mr. Bailey happening to come in, I find that it is not true. He made a representation to the Committee that his was the result of joint consultation, giving them the impression I had seen it, while he suppressed my draught, and now he tells me this is the result of consultation with 224the Committee upon both drafts. This want of honesty in so trifling a transaction has shaken my faith in his political character and principles. I have therefore written to my father to be guarded towards him.3

Mr. Bailey conversed much with me, and I communicated to him my father’s intention that he might reflect upon it. I gained no time to walk. After dinner engaged with Mr. Chadwick and Mr. Eddy upon the last year’s Accounts of the Middlesex Canal.4 It took us about two hours to go over them very superficially and check them with the book. The rest of the day and evening with the exception of a little while to finish Tom Jones was devoted to copying a letter from my father.

1.

Letter missing.

2.

To B. F. Hallett, 5 Dec. (LbC, Adams Papers).

3.

To JQA, 4–5 Dec. (Adams Papers). In his letter CFA reported Hallett’s reception of JQA’s proposed step and, without detailing his reasons, warned JQA against placing trust in Hallett, and cautioned him about communicating with Hallett in any confidence.

4.

Caleb Eddy was superintendent and treasurer of the Canal company, Ebenezer Chadwick a director; see vol. 3:153, 247.

Friday. 6th. CFA Friday. 6th. CFA
Friday. 6th.

Morning a little cloudy but it afterwards cleared away and became very pleasant. I went to the Office. Time passed in looking over Accounts which from my negligence have gone considerably wrong. I went to the Athenaeum for an hour to read the President’s Message and other documents.1 This is a flimsy performance.

The City is in commotion about a local election for Mayor—A miserable affair in which there is not a sixpence choice between the three candidates. I shall vote for the weakest to defeat the others.2

Afternoon quietly at home. Read Lord Bacon de Augmentis Scientiarum. Virgil. In the evening Byron’s Corsair to my Wife,3 and after it, Smith’s Moral Sentiments a book valuable for it’s acute observation if not for it’s moral system.

1.

The President’s annual Message to Congress, delivered on 3 Dec., was printed in the Boston newspapers on the 6th.

2.

The leading candidates were William Sullivan and Theodore Lyman, both political enemies of JQA. The third and antimasonic candidate was George Odiorne.

3.

On CFA’s periodic returns to the reading of Byron and on copies of his Works in MQA, see vol. 3:41, 185.

Saturday. 7th. CFA Saturday. 7th. CFA
Saturday. 7th.

Morning cooler but fine weather. I went to the Office and was engaged in rectifying my Accounts which I finally succeeded in doing-225So that instead of finding myself nearly two hundred dollars deeper than my Accounts show for, I find a few dollars against me which exceed my actual expense. This is far the best error. It is not worth going over the accounts again to correct it, but I intend after new year to begin upon a new and a more accurate system.

Had one or two visitors. Mr. Walsh, an Applicant for the Office opposite and Mr. William Spear from Quincy. Walk. Afternoon Bacon. Virgil. Received a long political letter from my father and a short business one from T. B. Adams.1 Quiet Evening. Finished Byron’s Corsair to my Wife, and began an answer to my father.2

1.

JQA to CFA, 2 Dec. (Adams Papers); the letter from Lt. Adams is missing.

2.

To JQA, 8 Dec. (Adams Papers).